A Answers (4)
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredNever go off medication abruptly, and never go off any medication without your physician's express permission. If you are prescribed antibiotics, for example, it is very important to take the entire amount prescribed. Do not stop after just a couple of days because you feel better. This is an exceedingly common and potentially very dangerous mistake, because the illness sometimes returns quickly and in a more virulent form. Because the bacteria causing the disease have already been exposed to the antibiotic, they often become resistant to it, and the drug no longer works effectively.
One should generally take a course of antibiotics as prescribed by his or her provider. By not completing a course of antibiotics, you encourage development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria that can become life-threatening in the future. Also, you may feel better and stop taking the antibiotic, which then allows the bacterial organisms to regain a foothold and cause the infection to return.
Cynthia Kubas - NASM Elite Trainer, NASM Elite Trainer, Sports Medicine, answered
Microorganisms multiply rapidly, and as the "parent" microbes are exposed to the antibiotic in your system, they have the genetic machinery to "adapt" to the antibiotic, and become resistant to it in future generations. By taking the full course at the full dose, you help maximize the possibility that all of the organisms will be killed before they mutate and become resistant. Once that happens, the illness becomes, obviously, much more difficult to treat!
Complete the prescribed course of treatment even if you are feeling better. If treatment stops too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect.
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